BENGALURU: Irked by Cubbon Park Walkers’ Association’s complaint to the police commissioner alleging that homosexuals indulge in illegal activities and also behave obscenely causing ‘nuisance’ in the park, a few gay rights activists said, “It is nothing but immoral thinking. If a husband and wife, grandfather and grandmother, boy and girl can walk in the park, sit in the park, hug, kiss, hold hands then why can’t we? It is just a publicity stunt.”
Akkai Padmashali, founder of Ondede, which works on the rights of transgender persons spoke to Express after S Umesh, association president first filed a complaint with the Cubbon Park police and then visited the City Police Commissioner’s office and submitted a letter regarding the same.
Umesh said the number of homosexuals and other members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community visiting the city’s prime lung space has increased after the Supreme Court verdict on Article 377. “We don’t have a problem with anybody visiting the park. But homosexuals are roaming around in the park in groups, shouting slogans and instigating men to join them in immoral activities. They have created such an atmosphere that the number of visitors has reduced,” Umesh said in the complaint.
Calling the complaint as an absolutely unacceptable act, Deeptha Rao, an advocate at Alternate Law Forum (ALF), said, “An advocate who claims to have passed out from a five-year law course is making such a blatant statement. This is absolutely unacceptable. He cannot make such statements after the Supreme Court passed such a judgment, and categorically create stigma against the community in society.”
A regular jogger dismissed the allegations as ‘nonsense’, saying, “I don’t think any such things happen in the park. It is nice to see two men or two women walking hand in hand. How do you know whether they are gays or lesbians?”
Gay rights activists are also discussing the matter amongst their associations and are planning to meet the police commissioner to give the walkers’ association a fitting reply.“We will also meet the commissioner. We have been given this right after a struggle of so many years. Now it is every individual’s right to ensure that we are respected equally” said Akkai.
A police officer said the complaint requested for more policing and that has been given. “More beat constables have been put in the park area. There is no such illegal or immoral activities by these men. It is a public space, anyone can be there,” he said.